West Berkshire Council

Alcohol and Drug Support

Help to change alcohol or drug use

We understand that people affected by drug and alcohol need different types of support to make changes. Because of this, help on offer comes in the shape of different organisations and services. This page contains details of these services and web addresses for sources of help, some of which are funded by West Berkshire Council, to help you find a way to change that suits you best.

Young People

Young people (aged 18 and under), can contact a specialist service,   based in Newbury. The Edge service covers all of West Berkshire. They can help with a range of services, from education about drugs and alcohol to outreach activities, therapy for families, and drop-in advice.

The Edge website has more information, including contact details, or you can fill out a referral form for the Edge service online.


Swanswell are a specialist organisation that provides support and services to adults (over 18) who wish to change their drug and/or alcohol use. They deliver services from their main hub in Newbury and a number of community locations (including GP surgeries) across the West Berkshire area.

Swanswell offer a range of services to help address drug and alcohol problems tailored to the needs of each person, including;

  • Treatment, including
    • access to substitute prescribing/anti-craving medication
    • access to community/inpatient detoxification
  • drop-in clinics in Newbury (open from 9am to 7.30pm on Mondays, and until 5pm during the rest of the week)
  • one to one support
  • support in a group, including families and carers groups
  • advice on reducing harm, including a needle syringe programme
  • referral for residential rehabilitation
  • healthcare advice and information
  • help to access housing, employment, training and benefits
  • access to sexual health screening and testing
  • putting you in touch with other agencies who may be to help

Referring someone to Swanswell

If you work with people who might need Swanswell's services, or would like to refer someone, please contact Swanswell.

General Advice


Your GP and Local Pharmacy

Your  local doctor's surgery or chemist may be able to help. You could be referred onto specialist services if they feel it's appropriate (they'll assess your needs first).

Needle exchange programmes

The following pharmacies offer needle exchange programmes in our district:


Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous, and "Mutual Aid" Groups

Mutual aid groups are about providing support to members at every stage of their recovery from active alcohol and/or drug use and addiction. They're different from a "peer support network" as they rely on a structured programme that has a clear end goal - recovery. Groups have a real mix of members, often including people who have beaten addictions and want help to remain drug or alcohol free, people who are thinking about stopping and people actively trying to stop their drug and alcohol use. Groups also exist to support families, children and friends affected by substance misuse.

The most common mutual aid groups in England include "12-step fellowships" and SMART Recovery.  The fellowships - for example Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and Al-Anon - are based on a 12-step self-help philosophy. In contrast, SMART Recovery applies cognitive behavioural techniques (CBT) and therapeutic lifestyle change to their mutual aid groups to help people manage their recovery.


UK 12-step fellowships

Please note that not all groups operate locally, but will offer phone advice and support.

Who To Contact